The Three

1. Tom Lin spoke at a conference in Austin, TX last week where he focused on church leadership within the American church but went in a totally different and refreshing direction than I’m used to hearing. By focusing on how the American church makes leadership sexy without teaching the importance of suffering, I believe Tom nailed some of the key problems facing the church today. When leadership is sexy without suffering it teaches us that we can distance ourselves rather than implicate ourselves through relationships of those we are doing ministry with. Here’s some highlights from his talk (read more about it here):

“God is faithful when we step away from sexy and step into suffering for the sake of the Gospel.”

“It’s not easy or sexy to follow Jesus or his call for us to carry our own crosses. There is nothing sexy about the rich young ruler leaving everything and the core of his identity behind.”

“The American church has made leadership a sexy thing, made it cool – we don’t teach our youth to engage in suffering. When we look at Scripture, Jesus asked leaders to die to the things they care most about.”

2. My friend and fellow Moody author, Rhett Smith, released his first book this week. It’s a book on a topic not written on or discussed enough because on some level it affects all of us. Too often I let my anxiety overtake my life in a negative way, but Rhett provides another perspective on anxiety. Check out his new book here and be encouraged by it.

Often anxiety and/or worry has been looked upon as an “un-Christian” feeling to have. But The Anxious Christian conveys the message that anxiety can actually be helpful in our spiritual formation, and that God can use anxiety as a catalyst to move people forward in their life of faith. In that movement, anxiety’s gift is that it allows us to face our resistance and fears, understand where those fears come from, and then make intentional choices about important issues such as career, marriage, money, and our spiritual lives. It’s time to get unstuck.

3. A few weeks ago in church we ran a video series highlighting how different church members worship and bring glory to God in everyday activities and hobbies. One of those videos was of an 8th grade student on our youth worship team named Ben. Ben has been playing bass for about 8 months now and he’s been serving on the youth worship team with me since September. I love so much of what he had to say in this video.

Have a good weekend.